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Posts Tagged ‘jen’

And now…?

February 3, 2007 Leave a comment

Paradise

January 30, 2007 Comments off

Avarua, Cook Islands – I’m not able to report. Sorry. It’s been… there’s a lot happening. Physically, yes, it’s idyllic and tranquil and relaxing, but… the internal emotional things I’ve encountered are a different matter entirely. The reasons I came here, those “objectives”, to use a somewhat distant term, are now fuzzy. I cannot write about this, not yet.

So here’s some photos.

BBC photo contest

September 3, 2006 Leave a comment
My girlfriend Jen urged me to enter some shots into a photographic contest the BBC is running in which you can win £400 towards covering the news story of your choice. 

The contest is divided into rounds, each round having a particular theme. The current theme is “Look Up”, so this arvo I submitted the following shots…

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In Touch With Nature

ELK ISLAND PARK, CANADA – For the last three days, Jen and I have been camping in this amazing national park. Anyone who thinks Canada is all snow and ice should come here in the middle of summer. It’s been damn warm, but then cooling off a bit at night. In fact, it’s been so warm that I actually felt a little bit woozy as I helped Jen and some of her workmates in a cleanup outside their store on Saturday.

“Hang on,” someone said, “you’re Australian, surely it gets this warm where you’re from.”

“True, but it’s about 25 degrees cooler there right now,” I explained. “The shock from the sudden change is doing me in bigtime.”

Anyhow, the scenery at Elk Island is amazing. The air is fresh, there is plenty of wildlife here to keep us entertained (including some beavers!), and I’m enjoying it very much. Living in a big city, I really don’t have much of a chance to get in touch with nature this way. And of course, it’s giving Jen and I some time together with very few distractions from the “real” world. No phones, no lights, no motorcar, not a single luxury. :)

Admittedly, we have ventured to the nearby golf course clubhouse once or twice for some country music & a bite to eat, so I’ve not completely abandoned my “civilised” ways. There is definitely something quite amazing about sleeping outside, under fabric as opposed to a roof, hearing the wildlife rustling in the undergrowth, squirrels chattering, coyotes yipping and howling in the distance, the wind sighing through the tree branches. I’ve been wondering exactly how remote it would be possible for me to live, whether I could be out in the sticks even moreso than where I grew up.

As much wildlife as we did encounter, it wasn’t until we were actually leaving this arvo that we encountered the animal this park is most famous for; the bison.


Bloody big cow!

Needless to say, the photo opportunities out here are also great.

Road? What road?

February 7, 2005 Leave a comment

We’re back in Thailand, arrived yesterday afternoon after a totally hellish bus ride from Siem Reap to the Cambodia/Thailand border. 159 kilometers in 6 hours. They allege that there’s a road along that route, I’d like to dispute that. Most of it is a two-lane dirt track, and the bits that are tarmacked are so damaged that they may as well not be.

And it feels so wonderful to be back in this country. :)

We stayed in a very nice place called the Aran Mermaid Hotel in Aranyaprathet last night. Worth a stay if you ever happen to be in the area.

Up at 5am this morning for the 6:40 train from Aran to Bangkok. We’re now staying at the Atlanta Hotel. A very cool place with a great 1950s vibe, and well away from the Khao San Road backpacker area. Between noon and 1pm they play recordings of jazz tunes composed by the King (of Thailand that is, not Elvis), so we’re looking forward to hearing some of that.

I also discovered that I will be in Hong Kong on the night of Chinese New Year, the year of the Rooster, which is also my Chinese astrological sign. Synchronicity?

That’s it for now. Take care.

Cheers,
Paul C./Karsoe

Cambodia photos

February 6, 2005 Leave a comment
Jen at Angkor Wat

Jen at Angkor Wat

Jen at Angkor Wat

Jen at Angkor Wat

Climbing down from the central prang at Angkor Wat

Climbing down from the central prang at Angkor Wat

Me at Angkor Wat

Me at Angkor Wat

Jen at Angkor Wat

Jen at Angkor Wat

Bayon

Bayon

Jen at Bayon

Jen at Bayon

Prasat Kravan

Prasat Kravan

Jen at Prasat Kravan

Jen at Prasat Kravan

Carvings at Bantey Kdei

Carvings at Bantey Kdei

Niem, caretaker at Ta Phrom and cover model of the current Lonely Planet.

Niem, caretaker at Ta Phrom and cover model of the current Lonely Planet.

Sunset at Lakeside, Phnom Penh

Sunset at Lakeside, Phnom Penh

Crocodile pit next to our guesthouse in Siem Reap

Crocodile pit next to our guesthouse in Siem Reap

Bicycle-related silliness in Siem Reap

February 2, 2005 Leave a comment

Right… well, I’ve discovered the secret of navigating traffic in Cambodia. Basically you have to totally empty your mind of any concept of rules, regulations or common sense. It’s every sentient being for him or herself out there, so just get used to it.

Jen and I cycled $DEITY knows how many kilometers around many of the ruins near Siem Reap. Revisited many of the places we saw yesterday, this time with a fully-charged camera. On the cover of the Lonely Planet Cambodia is a picture of an old fellah in one of the temples (Ta Phrom). We have a photo of him. Now all we need to do is find out his name…

We discovered the Vietnamese equivalent of Starbucks (Trung Nguyen) has a branch in Siem Reap, so I revisited my ‘Nam glory days :) by having a ca phe sua drip percolated coffee (aka Best Coffee In The Entire Universe (Franc, take note)).

Just prior to our cycling adventure I went actoss the road to get some water. After paying the not very princely sum of 1000 riel (33 Aussie cents) for 3 litres, I was approached by a landmine victim asking for a donation. I gave, a small amount, but he smiled widely and appreciated the gesture. I think it’s the first donation I’ve given to a beggar on my whole trip. It still tears at me, my moral compass askew, facing choices that I’m just not equipped to make. Who do I give to? All? None? Some? If some, who “deserves”it? This is a country with millions of people truly in need, and no social welfare system whatsoever. What’s all that about?

Cambodia certainly is a country of contradictions; the utter hell visited on it’s people by the Khmer Rouge, and yet they’re still ready with a smile and a hello. The kids are adoreable. And I’m starting to feel quite safe here, despite it’s proliferation of weapons and the utterly insane traffic. I’ve seen driving schools here and in Sihanoukville, I can’t imagine what a safe driving lesson consists of. Suffice to say that I suspect my bagging of Sydney drivers will now operate on a much reduced level.

I guess we’ll be seeing Angkor Wat tomorrow, as well as a better look around Angkor Thom and some other cool-looking Buddhist temples scattered about.

The crocs next door are okay too. :) Well-fed and so far unable to scale walls and open windows. Which is a good thing. I’ve never seen a crocodile walk before, by jeez they’re scary looking bastards on dry land! :)

Righto, must go. Take care. Etc.

Cheers,
Karsoe/Paul C.